Project Lead

Dr Sanjeevan Muruganandan

Lead partner

Northern Health

MacHSR Future Leaders Fellowship program (2023 cohort).

Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) is the build-up of fluid in the chest cavity due to advanced cancer. MPE is common and is associated with frequent hospitalisation, debilitating symptoms and a poor prognosis. In Australia, MPE management remains fragmented, with different care models employed across health services resulting in low-quality care and poor outcomes.

An indwelling pleural catheter (IPC) is an alternative procedure that places a small, semi-permanent catheter under local anaesthetic to drain the fluid. Utilisation of IPCs is poor despite high-quality evidence they are safe, reduce the need for further invasive pleural intervention and hospitalisation in comparison to standard of care. Most health services are not equipped with the expertise or resources to support IPC in the community, instead preferring a more invasive and costly surgical approach to MPE management.

My vision is to transform MPE care by using innovative, digitally enabled models to move MPE care from hospital to home. The MacHSR Fellowship will enhance my knowledge, research and leadership skills and grow my collaborative networks towards clinical translation of this new model of care.